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Be Different by John Elder Robison

My Adventures with Asperger’s & My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers

Be Different by John Elder Robison

Be Different

John Elder Robison
  • Imprint: Crown
  • On sale: March 20, 2012
  • Price: $17
  • Pages: 304
  • ISBN: 9780307884824
Contact: Sarah Breivogel

The author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Look Me in the Eye returns with endearing stories and practical advice that will help anyone labeled “different” find his or her path to success.

“I certainly hope reading my stories and learning about the ways I coped with problems and found my path entertain you while also giving some useful insights into dealing with your own quirks, or those of someone you care about.”

—John Robison, from Be Different 

When John Robison published his memoir Look Me in the Eye in 2007, readers were given a window into the life of a man who spent forty years growing up knowing that he was different but not knowing why. Born before the Asperger’s diagnosis existed, Robison struggled for years without answers to his inexplicable behavior. Unable to pick up social cues or express his emotions, Robison was labeled defective by his parents, as well as the kids on the playground. Inspiring and intensely moving, Look Me in the Eye quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

In his new book BE DIFFERENT: My Adventures with Asperger’s & My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers (Broadway, March 20, 2012), now out in paperback, Robison argues that Asperger’s is about difference, not just disability. With honesty, dark humor, and unapologetic eccentricity, he answers questions like:

  • How to read others and follow their behaviors when in uncertain social situations
  • Why manners matter
  • How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult skills
  • How to deal with bullies
  • When to make an effort to fit in, and when to embrace your eccentricity
  • How to identify special gifts and use them to your advantage

Equally important, Robison offers practical advice—to Aspergians, their parents, and educators—on how Aspergians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.

Since the publication of Look Me in the Eye, Robison’s platform has increased exponentially. Last fall, he was profiled in an episode of the Science Channel series INGENIOUS MINDS, and he appears regularly in the media today.  He serves on committees and review boards for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.  He’s been named to the science board of Autism Speaks, and he serves on the advisory board for Massachusetts General Hospital’s YouthCare program.  Robison remains active in TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and is in demand as a speaker at schools, colleges, and organizations throughout the country. Like Temple Grandin, John Elder Robison is very involved in shaping the direction of research on many fronts and has become a go-to authority on the subject of Asperger’s.

On sale just in time for April’s National Autism Awareness Month, BE DIFFERENT is a must read for anyone who has Asperger’s, is raising a child with Asperger’s, or works with Aspergians. And for those who enjoyed reading about Robison’s eccentric upbringing and gravitated toward his wit and humor, BE DIFFERENT offers more of the same. Every person, Aspergian or not, has something unique to offer the world, and every person has the capacity to create strong, loving bonds with their family and friends. BE DIFFERENT will help readers and those they love find their path to success.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JOHN ELDER ROBISON, born in Athens, Georgia, grew up in the 1960s before the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome existed. Today he has claimed his spot on the autism spectrum and often gives talks about his life with Asperger’s. He blogs for Psychology Today and is an adjunct faculty member at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. His previous book, Look Me in the Eye, was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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